August 9, 2013
BMO Harris Bank Center
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (4/7/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Shield (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)
Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.
– Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
RVD pinned Alberto Del Rio back on Raw last week, which means the top three contenders have *all* beaten ADR over the last month. There’s a very annoying RVD mark in the front row holding up a RobVanDam.com site doing a Bill Alfonso whistle routine. Luckily, he stops after the first commercial break. Van Dam takes us into commercial with the spinning heel kick off the apron onto the barricade right in front of the guy. When we return, Orton shoves RVD off the top turnbuckle for the Pillman barricade bump. Orton works a little heelish here as he sets up a comeback for RVD. Maybe he’s not working heel and it’s just the all-black tights and boots making me think otherwise. He cuts off the rally with the inverted backbreaker. After the DDT through the ropes, Orton changes his tone and calls out to the crowd before the RKO. RVD kicks away the finisher and rolls up Orton with his legs for the dramatic two-count. Five-Star Frog Splash misses and Orton pops up to hit the RKO to pick up the win in just over 11:00. Another good TV match from Orton. ***
WWE Rewind from Raw this past week: AJ Lee costs Kaitlyn a match against Layla.
Time for MizTV. He’s the *official* host for SummerSlam, you know. His guests tonight are the Divas champ AJ Lee and Big E Langston. We take another look back at Raw when some Kaitlyn and AJ shenanigans cause Dolph Ziggler to lose to Big E. Miz asks about AJ and Big E’s relationship. They’re just “good friends”, says AJ. She’s either lying or Big E is stuck in the friend zone. Miz brings up the list of “friends” AJ has tried to destroy since she’s been in WWE. AJ says all those people broke her heart. The only thing that will stick by her side and keep her warm at night until she’s old and gray is the Divas championship. Cue Dolph Ziggler. He tells AJ that she just can’t get over him. That’s when AJ starts to get very defensive and says Dolph is just sad that he will never be able to touch her again. With that said, out comes Kaitlyn. This immature squabble continues until Miz has enough and since he’s the *official* host for SummerSlam (really? I hadn’t heard that), he feels he can make a match for SummerSlam. So he schedules the inevitable mixed tag. After Kaitlyn threatens to slap the crazy off AJ’s face, AJ flips out and tackles Kaitlyn onto one of the couches. Big E nails Ziggler and pulls Kaitlyn off AJ. Once he puts Kaitlyn down, Dolph runs over and gives him the Zig Zag! Spear from Kaitlyn to AJ! I’m not saying it will be a match of the year candidate, but I’m digging these four right now.
Let Us Take You Back to Raw last week: Daniel Bryan shaved off Wade Barrett’s beard. YES! YES! YES!
Wyatt Family video package. Love it.
This week’s Raw Rebound shows us CM Punk battling the IC champ Curtis Axel and then getting into another awesome brawl with Brock Lesnar. A breakdown of the whole situation is just a click away on Scott’s Raw Recap.
In the back, Alberto Del Rio asks Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero why she’s putting him in a match with Christian this close to SummerSlam. He’s being punished not only for what he did to Christian last week, but also for abusing Ricardo Rodriguez on Raw this past Monday.
– Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
This is a rematch from Raw when Kofi made his return after rehabbing an injury. Things pretty much go Kingston’s way to start. Fandango bails before the Boom Drop. Summer Rae stands in the way of Kingston who wants to dive off the apron. Kingston leaps anyway, but Summer Rae shrieks and jumps out of the way just in time. She acts like she’s turned her ankle, which causes Kofi to be sympathetic towards her and Fandango to capitalize by throwing Kofi into the ringpost! Summer Rae hops back up to her feet and does a twirl to let us all know she’s okay. Oh, good. I was really worried there for a second. She is so awesome. Well, Kofi is dead weight right now. Guillotine Legdrop gets the win for Fandango at 4:45. Here’s to hoping they book these two in the rubber match for SummerSlam. **
Elsewhere, Renee grabs Daniel Bryan for a quick word. He likes the way he looks and decided he didn’t want to be a “corporate” guy when Vince asked him to cut the beard, so that’s why he gave Wade Barrett a makeover. The one thing he will change is history when he beats John Cena for the WWE title at SummerSlam. Sorry Vince, but the Beard is Still Here.
Let Us Take You Back to Raw last week: Randy Orton helped John Cena and Daniel Bryan with the Shield, but then sent a message by dropping them both with an RKO.
– Daniel Bryan vs. Wade “The Barber” Barrett
Bryan has to fight from underneath here until Barrett retrieves his beard clippers. When he threatens the beard, that’s when Bryan makes his comeback and puts away Barrett with the YES Lock in 4:00. Just a quick way to blow-off their recent situation. Afterwards, Bryan smashes the clippers. ¾*
Renee is backstage with Damien Sandow. They replay Cody Rhodes tossing the blue MITB briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico. Sandow introduces to us the new and improved “Sandow-ized” MITB briefcase. It’s either a leather briefcase with the MITB logo imprinted on it or a briefcase made of chocolate. Either way, Sandow likes it.
Another video package of the Wyatt Family gets shown. From the looks of things that happened this last week on Raw, Kane will meet Bray Wyatt in an Inferno match at SummerSlam. They may be changing the name of the gimmick to “Ring of Fire”. We shall see.
– Kane vs. 3MB
Of course, these jabronis have no chance. Kane destroys all three of them and pins Mahal after a Chokeslam in under 2:00. ½*
Afterwards, the Wyatt Family appear on the TitanTron. Bray Wyatt is fine with this type of match because fire cannot control the souls of his brothers. Sooner or later, that same fire that Kane calls his own will raise up against him, and it will be Kane who is locked inside with a monster. Fire cannot hurt Bray Wyatt because Bray Wyatt is already dead. What does Kane have to say to this? He sets the four corners of the ring on fire. These guys are amazing.
Brock Lesnar sends in a video tape because he doesn’t work on Tuesdays. Wait, I’m sorry, Fridays. This was not like your typical wrestling interview. It felt very much like what you see to hype a UFC fight. Brock very calmly and convincingly describes that this feud is in fact personal. Punk thinks he’s the ‘best in the world’ because he tapes up his hands, gets a bunch of tattoos, and takes beginners-level MMA classes at his local gym. Brock is an NCAA champion and a former UFC champion. There is no professional jealousy between the two because he feels there is nothing about CM Punk that makes him feel jealous. When he was the WWE Undisputed champion, Punk was wrestling in front of 100 people in high school gyms. He is impressed by Punk’s long WWE title reign, but CM Punk never faced Brock Lesnar. At this point, money is just flying out of my pockets to watch this match.
Next week on Raw, CM Punk takes on Paul Heyman – in a match!
– Non-title match: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Cole reminds us that Christian has already beaten ADR two weeks ago on Raw. They do show Rob Van Dam beating Del Rio last week on Raw and then Del Rio assaulting Ricardo Rodriguez with a bucket before brutally kicking his head in the steps. Any chance Rodriguez costs Del Rio the world title at SummerSlam? Del Rio was pretty dominant for almost the entire match. Christian never really got any huge amount of momentum, but still managed to get an inside cradle on Del Rio for the win at 15:00. After Del Rio pitches a fit, Christian leaves him laying this week with the Killswitch. The finish felt a little flat since he had just got a surprise nearfall on ADR there when he rolled away from the Cross Armbreaker. Not a bad main event as these two certainly have chemistry. I’m hoping that the PPV match will have a more convincing finish though. You can certainly argue the decision as to why you would have your PPV world title match run this long nine days before the PPV, too. With the strong double main event, I guess it really doesn’t matter. With that said, don’t be surprised if ADR-Christian opens SummerSlam. **½
Hold up. The show is not over. Here comes Damien Sandow to cash in his briefcase on the World champion! Oh, but Cody Rhodes appears and interrupts what could have been the defining moment of Sandow’s career and leaves him laying with the Cross Rhodes to end the show.
Final Thoughts: Another very solid show this week as everything was on point. There was absolutely nothing here that I felt was fast-forward worthy. If the matches don’t thrill you, the Wyatt family segment and the Brock Lesnar interview should.
Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Randy Orton
3) Brock Lesnar
4) Wyatt Family
5) Summer Rae